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For decades, the CIO and the IT team were primarily focused on working with Finance, executive management, and key functional groups such as Manufacturing. However, as the use of technology in marketing activities has grown exponentially, and “customer journey” data has become a critical corporate resource, CIOs and CMOs are working more closely.
Not only are the longer-term trends leading to a closer and deeper relationship between the CMO and CIO, but the current pandemic crisis is also driving more cooperation as the parties adjust to the “new normal.” The growth in digital consumer interaction demands it.
“The shift to digital requires greater CMO/CIO interaction and a stronger bond for several reasons,” says Cynthia Stoddard, CIO and SVP of Adobe. “And the two parties are finding that they each bring skills that, when combined, can improve the customer journey. Historically, the CMO brought marketing and customer journey expertise, while the CIO had knowledge and expertise of data assets. But today IT is customer-centric, and marketing is data-oriented.”
There are specific outcomes that will result from the combination of proficiencies. The most common are likely to include:
“A partnership between IT and marketing will leverage the strengths of each team,” notes Stoddard. “And working together ensures that the right technology is in place to scale personalized customer communication across offline and digital channels. In the new normal, it will be very hard for companies to succeed who still work in heavy silos.”
Transformative times call for stronger CMO CIO ties. Marketing systems are moving away from being separate and distinct to becoming an integral part of the entire firm’s IT infrastructure. The skillsets of the CMO and CIO don’t have a great deal of overlap, but they’re highly complementary. Working together, the CMO and CIO will provide the leadership for the next generation of systems that enhance the customer journey.